WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week four groups, whose boards represent a distinctly liberal worldview and who oppose scrutiny of taxpayer-funded science by academics, asked the University of Virginia to disregard its agreement before the court (http://www.atinstitute.org/court-orders-university-of-virginia-to/) with American Tradition Institute to provide the records of former climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, which belong to the public. The groups, led by the far-left Union of Concerned Scientists, sent a letter to University president Teresa Sullivan on Tuesday complaining the agreement gives ATI's in-house lawyers "needless access" to documents that ATI's Environmental Law Center requested, and the agreement "threatens the principles of academic freedom protecting scholarly research."
Response to Union of Concerned Scientists, et al, from ATI Environmental Law Center director Dr. David Schnare:
"The groups seek to have the court create a non-existent 'academic freedom' exemption, and also claim there is a so-called 'balance' between academic freedom and public accountability, which is similarly imaginary. The court's, and UVA's, only fealty is to follow the law, which our agreement reflects.
"The groups appeal to lesser authorities such as a state advisory board and — amazingly — a Washington Post editorial, as opposed to what the FOIA law clearly says, as justification to toss aside our agreement with the university. Their objection to scrutiny is new-found and selective as well, since they seemed to have no problem when Greenpeace sought the records and emails of academics who do not accept the alarmist perspective on global warming.
"The groups also insult our professionalism with the insinuation that we would risk disbarment by violating a gag order that prevents us from disclosing possibly exempt records we review pursuant to the agreement. Such an accusation only reflects poorly on the integrity of UCS and their letter's co-signers."
Response to Union of Concerned Scientists, et al, from ATI executive director Paul Chesser:
"Once again these self-interested groups — who hope to protect their billions of dollars in government funding of dubious, unsupportable research — accuse ATI of 'harassment and intimidation' of scientists. It shows how blind they are to the fact that ATI has acted in the interest of sound, verifiable science and for the protection of the hard-earned money that taxpayers are forced to relinquish for such research.
"A Rasmussen Reports survey out earlier this week shows that that 69 percent of Americans say it's at least somewhat likely that some scientists who study climate change have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40 percent who say this is 'very likely.' Only 22 percent believe it's not likely that some scientists have falsified global warming data to fit their theories.
"Considering this is how the public sees them, UCS and their cohorts in academia need to look in the mirror and try to figure out where it all went wrong. Meanwhile, ATI will continue its pursuit to hold them accountable."
For an interview with Dr. David Schnare or Paul Chesser, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202)670-2680.
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SOURCE American Tradition Institute